Hatchet hurtles off truck into car’s windshield on I-95 in Topsfield

Talk about a close call.

A hatchet hurtled off the back of a landscaper’s dump truck and sliced into the windshield of a car traveling behind it this morning on Interstate 95 in Topsfield, right in front of the front-seat passenger’s face, State Police said in a Facebook posting.

The hatchet penetrated halfway through the windshield before coming to rest.

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“The passenger was shaken up (who wouldn’t be?) but not injured,” State Police said, calling it a “very frightening moment” for the motorists.

A photo accompanying the Facebook posting showed what looked like a scene from the set for a horror movie. Only it was all too real. The hatchet’s head was resting on the dashboard of the car, right next to an air conditioning vent, amid broken glass.

The driver was obeying the speed limit at the time of the incident, police said. If the driver had been speeding, police said, the axe would have traveled at a greater velocity through the windshield, causing increased damage and possible injuries.

State Police did not identify the occupants of the car.

The truck driver, who is from Peabody, was fined $200 for failure to secure cargo.

State Police said contractors and all other motorists must ensure that the items they are transporting are properly secured on their vehicles.

“We are very thankful that this situation did not have a worse ending,” State Police said in the posting.